As part of the ongoing discussion on this website about ‘what matters?’, here are some comments from Oliver James, writing in ‘The Observer’ January 2006:
‘The Affluenza virus is a set of values which increase our vulnerability to psychological distress: placing a high value on acquiring money and possessions, looking good in the eyes of others and wanting to be famous. Many studies have shown that infection with the virus increases your susceptibility to the commonest mental illnesses: depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorder.’
I do not think I am about to disagree with Oliver. The same ideas just keep on popping up everywhere. He goes on to say that:
‘The virus values prevent you from fulfilling fundamental human needs which seem to exist in every society. Whereas you want a better car or greater intelligence or bigger house, you can survive without them; the same is not true of Needs.
The precise content and labelling of such needs is debatable, but four are very commonly identified: security (emotional and material), connectedness to others, authenticity and autonomy, and feeling competent.’
This stuff just keeps on popping up. And again, for me the top four that stand out are:
– A sense of connectedness and belonging
– A strong sense of self and identity
– Some control of your life
– Good solid relationships
Gee, there must be something in all this. Damn! And I was just about to go buy a Mazzarati. Or said a little more honestly, there are times when I get carried away with the day-to-day and just kind of forget. It’s easy to do. And so this, including the pic, is a bit of a reminder to myself.